Cancer survivor heads to prison after police sting
Ryan Cory Sawatzky pleaded guilty Tuesday to trafficking two ounces of poor quality cocaine to a longtime biker associate who was actually working undercover for the police.
He was one of 31 people arrested last December as part of Project Divide and is the seventh to plead guilty.
"I have nobody to thank but that (expletive) organization and my (expletive) stupidity," Sawatzky told police following his arrest.
Crown attorney Mark Lafreniere told court Sawatzky was caught on camera delivering the drugs to the secret agent outside his home last November. Sawatzky had been a prospect with the Zig Zag Crew, which is the feeder crew to the Hells Angels, but had turned in his vest weeks earlier in an apparent bid at a fresh start in life.
He quickly got pulled back in when the agent, Michael Satsatin, came looking for $150 in unpaid dues he still owed, court was told. Sawatzky agreed to eliminate his debt by selling the cocaine, which had been severely diluted by cutting agents and was only seven per cent pure.
Defence lawyer Ian Garber told court his client had already fought through two bouts of cancer and desperately wants to get out of jail to be a father to his five-year-old son.
The boy is currently living with his mother.
"To his credit, he had walked away from this group and set out on a better path," said Garber.
Satsatin was the treasurer of the Zig Zag Crew when he agreed to become a secret agent and capture the inner workings of the criminal organization in exchange for $450,000 and witness protection.
Investigators seized 165 ounces of cocaine, 12 ounces of methamphetamine, 12,000 ecstasy tablets, one ounce of heroin and seven pounds of marijuana during their 13-month investigation, along with cash, firearms and gang paraphernalia.
More than 300 Mounties and police from Winnipeg, Brandon, Ste. Anne and B.C. were involved.